Watch Dogs 2 - Quickie Review

What's good

- Upbeat and more fitting new style
- New mechanics and gadgets making the gameplay and level design much more stealth focussed
- Lush and vivid world of San Francisco
- Fairly fun yet standard co-op sidemissions

The much more emphasized stealth gameplay is very welcome.

What's bad

- Painfully annoying protagonist characters that feel like clicheed and over-stylized carricatures
- Badly told story without a clear motive, narrative thread or actual goal for most of the time,...
-...which results in a lack of true motivation to play through the entire game
- The goodhearted intentions of the protagonists clashing with your lethal in-game actions like being able to print 3D weapons to kill people without any repurcussions on the characters or ending
- Fairly few true highlights
- Repetitive main mission designs and too many tedious sidemissions 

"I just want to help you people! Now let me shoot you!"


- The protagonist hackers making fun of hipsters and hipster culture despite being pretty much hipsters themselves.

"Did you just call me a hipster, you hipster?!"

The Verdict

While Watch Dogs 2 undeniably made some right choices when it comes to refocussing the game with a vastly new style that doesn't take itself too seriously and with new mechanics that make stealth gameplay be the main "way to play", nevertheless Watch Dogs 2's other ill-advised design choices still make it very hard to like the game.
Sure enough Watch Dogs 2's new team of protagonists bring a breeze of fresh optimistic air into the franchise, yet considering how all their personalities resemble absolute carricatures of the nerd and hipster culture make playing through the entire game and having to listen to their forced Big Bang Theory-esque "We are so nerdy"-dialogues an absolute torture. From useless conversations about who would win a fight between "Alien vs. Predator" over making fun of the hipster culture even though the protagonists themselves are pretty much hipsters, just makes all of the characters' personalities feel like nothing but products of Ubisoft's marketing department and little else. What additionally makes it hard to get over the annoying protagonists, is the fact that Watch Dogs 2's story is very uninvolvingly told. Without a clear motive or narrative given as to why you are actually doing certain missions or hacking and infiltrating certain buildings and servers, most of the time you feel like you are aimlessly just doing those missions because the game tells you to and not to work towards a big main goal. Only in the final act things start to come together, but by then, it's already too late to even care.
It doesn't really help that despite San Francisco being a very inviting and vibrant new world to roam around in, the mission designs in Watch Dogs 2 tend to be rather repetetive. Though the varying layouts of each infiltrated building give opportunities to rearrange your strategies, the missions pretty much always have you infiltrate a building, hack one or two devices and get out with only very little goal variety. This is a true shame since Watch Dogs 2 gives you plenty of gadgets and tools that feel very interesting to use, yet given the exact same goals in pretty much each mission in the game, it makes it hard to find true reason to even change your usual stealth infiltration routine.

Despite Watch Dogs 2 definitely doing quite some things right when it comes to focussing more on stealth than gunplay, gamers who already weren't fond of the first Watch Dogs most probably still won't find themselves amazed by Watch Dogs 2. With good stealth gameplay design at its core, yet having it be incredibly hampered by an uninvolving storyline, annoying clicheed characters and just too many repetitive missions, Watch Dogs 2 is just an okay game, that sure enough is worth a playthrough, but only once the price drops significantly.


Final Verdict: 6 out of 10

Status: Okay

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